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Can I complain to my friend about her dog begging for food?

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The question

I'm in a culinary book club with eight other women. We meet every month at the same member's house to cook and eat together and this host has decided recently that she is a dog person. Her dog is big and hairy. He sits under the table, whining for scraps and nuzzling crotches. It is very distracting. Can I say something to her?

The answer

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It's distracting, you say? Fancy that. The only time a dog should be allowed at the table is when it's stewed or roasted and finished with parsley and Armagnac cream. Of course, most dog people wouldn't agree with me.

This, among many other reasons, is why we call them "dog people" and reserve the term "people" for everybody else.

Yes, you can and should say something, though I warn that your friend is likely to insist that her four-legged lecher is cute and nobody else minds him, that the crotch nuzzling is only a sign that he wants affection. Insist back. Failing that, keep your ankles crossed and be sure to keep a sharp fork south of the border.

Follow food writer Chris Nuttall-Smith on Twitter: @cnutsmith. Have an entertaining dilemma? E-mail

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